Monday, March 17, 2008

Fan-freaking-tastic Carrot (with Pineapple) Cake. I am SERIOUS.


I just love carrot cake. It's not that chocolate and vanilla cakes are bad, they're just kind of ... pedestrian. Common. I like a cake with some refinement, with some class. Yes, what I'm saying is that I like my cake with a little bit of jazz hands.

Carrot cake has been my favorite since childhood. I perpetually requested it for my birthday cake and we used to buy the Oregon Farms boxed version like crazy people. My mother never made it from scratch, and now after having made my own, I can't imagine why. It's not tough and plus, it's nine million times better. Even if you hate baking, or if everything you try turns out dry and flaky and off, try this recipe anyway, particularly if you like carrot cake. It's a combination of two great recipes and it's rich. It's moist. The cream cheese frosting is easy and to die for. I'm serious. I wanted to stuff my entire head right into this cake and stay there forever. My grade: A+

Carrot (with Pineapple) Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

3 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (I actually make mine closer to a puree, because my family doesn't like to actually KNOW they are eating carrots and therefore cannot actually SEE any.)
1/2 cup diced pineapple (I make a puree out of this, as well)
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Non-stick baking spray, like Pam

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 2 (8-inch) cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside. Cream butter in mixer. Add the sugar and beat. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make sure to mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with the eggs (one egg at a time). Mix well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix. Add carrots and pineapple and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the nuts. Divide evenly between the 2 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.

For Frosting: In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar slowly, beating constantly. Add the vanilla. (Pecans can also be added to frosting mixture if you like. I don't do this because I don't like nutty frostings.)

When cake is cool, place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Spread the top with cream cheese frosting and then top with the second cake layer. Spread the icing on top and around the sides of the cake and let harden slightly before serving.

Difficulty: Easy - Intermediate
Prep/Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 8 - 10

2 comments:

Amy said...

I can't believe you kept this blog from me. Or that I was not enough of a snooper to find it!

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

Crys said...

it's fairly new...but the recipes are tested and approved!